Supporting Adolescents on Social Media
Social media and technology have added to the complexity of the lives of adolescents. During this stage of life, their social world has the utmost importance, contributing to their self-view and formation of identity.
Social media can be a space to find and connect to their support system, with group chats and online discussions being a place where teens can feel included and accepted, adding value to their lives.
Technology also has an ugly side, being a cause of stress and social pressures for adolescents. Understanding the pressure to say the right things, to constantly be available, and the worry of what others may post about them, that teens experience can be beneficial in navigating and supporting their journey of the highs and lows to social media.
Teens are in a stage of life where agency and independence are crucial to the discovery of themselves, and supporting them with the positives and negatives of social media is most effective when empowerment and encouragement are used with them.
Navigating social media can be challenging and often there is no one easy answer, but understanding their priority to their social world, encouraging them to identify how they are feeling, and brainstorming ideas together to support them can help this generation of teens to successfully handle the ever complex challenges to technology and social media.